On Sunday 16 August 2020, just after 7 am, long-time Newcastle resident and business owner, Jackie Lu and his wife were brutally attacked at their factory. Both Jackie and his wife were brutally stabbed and left for dead. In a country famous for its xenophobia, this is the second incident of a brutal attack in as many weeks on Chinese business owners that has left the community of Newcastle in shock.
Sadly Jackie passed away and his wife is currently fighting for her life in intensive care.
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In a previous attack, another Chinese business owner was forced to fight off the attackers, wearing nothing more than his pyjamas. A group of five men entered the business’s property presumably to rob the owner. Three men stood by the gate keeping watch, while the other two robbed the business.
Newcastle is the third-largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and is one of the country’s main industrial centers.
Newcastle has since the late 1980s built a strong relationship with mainland China and subsequently Taiwan following the influx of Chinese nationals in the mid 1980s. To date, China has invested in approximately 100 factories in Newcastle, employing thousands of workers.
Local councillor, Alex Liu said he has seen CCTV footage of the attack, which a colleague of Mr Lu described as ‘brutal’.
“The footage shows two men entering the property and knocking down the owner before dragging him to his living quarters at the back,” said Liu.
Alex Liu added that a suspect made away with a vehicle, which was later recovered in Madadeni, and an undisclosed amount of money after the safe was ransacked. According to the surgeon who fought to save Jackie Lu’s life, despite many hours of surgery the wounds to his heart were too great and he passed away shortly after 9pm.
Owner of Newcastle Industrial Laundry and friend of Mr Lu, Faizal Cassim said the attack has created more fear amid an already volatile situation in the Industrial Area.
“This is the second murder in just over a month, so we are all on high alert. We are very worried about where this is all leading to” said Mr Cassim.
Mr Lu’s factory, Zoan Clothing was apparently one of those in the midst of a labour dispute regarding UIF payments. A meeting was held between the Chinese business community and the Department of Labour last week, but there has been no resolution to date.
“I’ve known Jackie for a very long time. He just recently opened a second factory and employed many locals. What happened to him and his wife was disturbing and brutal. They were both stabbed multiple times,” said Mr Cassim.
Arrests made for the Attack
Lizzy Arumugam spokesperson of the Newcastle Police confirmed the incident, but could not confirm if any suspects had been apprehended. Sources have indicated the suspects include a full-time employee and a casual worker brought in to assist with extra work.
SOURCE: Newcastle Advertiser